Less Than $20.oo WWII Captain America Shield




About: I'm an actor/tech/IT/graphics/editor/writer kind of guy. I do a fair share of voice over work and have the full time gig at Bard College at Simon's Rock. While waiting for machines to do things, I hit the ...

Halloween is coming close and I was trying to think of a costume. I have a leather jacket, some cargo pants, brown boots and can find an Army helmet to paint NATO blue with an "A" on it.

I need a shield.

I found this laminated chair back from a chair that had seen better days...

Step 1: Planning Out the Shape

The curves are actually easy to create using a string, a pushpin and a pencil.

You first need to find the center of the piece for this kind of curve.

Step 2:

Once everything is drawn out, it's time to hit the saw. I have access to a nice bandsaw, but a jigsaw or coping saw will work the wood nicely.

Then I sanded the edges on a belt sander to the final line.

Step 3:

From there, I started filling in the holes and printed out some stars from Adobe Illustrator. (the trick of holding down the option key when using the star tool was crucial)

Step 4:

I painted a couple coats of white and then figured out where I wanted the handle and arm brace to go. I used an old handle simply as a guide for the holes. Then I drilled for 4 carriage bolts and used some old webbing from a defunct gym bag for the straps.  After the first set of holes were created, I measured and duplicated them on the other side for the forearm strap.  We're not going for a 100% accurate film replica here, we're going for something we can use next week...

To clean up the fraying from the nylon straps, I just hit it with a heat gun for a second to "singe" the ends.

Step 5:

Ok, I cut out the stencils and tacked them down to some still sticky white paint.

Then painted the blue right over them. Not the neatest job, but I can go back and touch up the lines. To do that, I'll use a razor blade and a ruler, then a steady hand with a paint brush.

Step 6:

From there, I measured the width of the shield, and divided it by the total number of stripes. Left me with stripes that were 2 3/8" wide alternating white and red.

The paint was small pint size water based enamel. I barely used any! Easy clean up and cheap. (Not a fan of the gloss, but a bit of steel wool after everything has dried, does wonders.)

Step 7:

This was the tough part. after making all sorts of nice neat lines, and really focusing on it being pretty...

It was time to get rough with it. Out into the garage and bap a few walls to scuff it up. Then adding some copper colored paint (Testors from the craft/hobby shop) to simulate bullet strafing. I would create a drip, then dry brush quickly away in the direction of the bullet.

The final was a wash of some black, which was basically a few drops of black in 2 ounces of water, to add grime and grit to it. It had to be used. Well loved even.

Step 8:

Now off to go find a helmet!

Halloween Props Challenge

Participated in the
Halloween Props Challenge



    • Planter Challenge

      Planter Challenge
    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest
    • Paint Challenge

      Paint Challenge

    18 Discussions


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    :) there is some shine but in person it has a good texture look to it. You're right though a little more grime couldn't hurt. One thing the picture doesn't show real well is how I took it out into the hallway and dragged it along the wall to scuff it up. Some grass stains may be in order…


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    It looks good next to my other Captain America stuff. Next I'm working on a rifle from Oblivion. Stay tuned.


    5 years ago

    im making one of these myself! didnt see this instructable unill I was done. I used a curbed peixe of sheet metal so its pretty similar to the real thing, but this one looks great!


    Reply 7 years ago on Step 8

    Helmet liner... hmmm, the nearest Army surplus store is over an hour away... but may be worth the trip!

    Thank you!


    7 years ago on Step 4

    A good way to get the right angle for holding the shield, is to hold the shield by the corner closest to the top leading edge. Let the shield suspend at the extreme angle then position your shield holding hand and arm vertically. Have someone trace around your arm or lay it on a flat surface and do it yourself. Be sure to make special marks over the largest part of your forearm and the center of you closed fist. This will allow you to hold the shield in a more comfortable and natural position.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I like that! Most of my shields are for RenFests, round Scottish targs, so the placement never mattered much.

    I saw film photos of the Captain America shield and the handle and forearm support were centered, so that's what I went for. But next time, I'll give your method a go.


    7 years ago on Step 8

    SWEET! This is so cool! Nice job recycling an old chair back.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    reminds me of the shield i made when my sixth grade class performed camelot.of course my shield did'nt look this good.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wow!!!!! Fantastic job and great play-by-play with pics! Very impressive and easy to follow. Thank You.

    monkeyworkjames kevin

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you!

    This has sparked my interest in creating more Instructables, I just need to get better at photo documenting things, I always have a project in the works. (The ABC Robot from Judge Dredd has been in the planning stages for a while...)

    Thank you! This is my first instructable, and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. And I saved something from going into the landfill, bonus!